Manila Manila – Postcard from Vienna

We’re only here 4 days but what can we say, Manila is full on. Here is the view from our balcony from WakWak in Greenhills. Not many hills and only a little green…

 

The view from our balcony in WakWak

The view from our balcony in WakWak

Except for the exclusive golf course to the right for the lucky few. Everywhere else, as far as the eye can see, are built-up.

Wack Wack Greenhills in Manila. Thank you to Dominic Hing & Maan Ngo for looking after us.

Wack Wack Greenhills in Manila. Thank you to Dominic Hing & Maan Ngo-Hing for looking after us.

Craig (my partner) wanted to see something historical and somehow came across a walking tour online called “Walk this Way“. It was being run by an artist called Carlos Celdran at Fort Santiago in Old Manila.  I didn’t really know what to expect, as I didn’t know the artist (only what Craig and I read together online); nor much about Fort Santiago- despite the fact that my father’s family used to live in  and had businesses (which all had fallen into disrepair and sold over the decades) in a nearby place called Ermita (some 2 kms away). So being the clueless Filipino coupled to the even more clueless foreigner, I tagged along.

It was a very powerful show, despite the simple production values (one man with a few props)  and we learnt something about Philippine history too. I’d say this tour is definitely a better way to see Manila, and worth the effort to go to, even if you are short on time. It gave humanity and context to what seemed like a chaotic city on steroids.

The Crowd at Walk this Way

The crowd at Walk this Way

Walk this Way Walking Tour by artist Carlos Celdran

Walk this Way Walking Tour by artist Carlos Celdran

 

 

Signage at Fort Santiago, Old Manila

Signage at Fort Santiago, Old Manila

Part of the show was a ride on a Kalesa (a horse drawn carriage) through Old Manila, with the Kalesa driver (in costume) acting as a guide as well. It was a really fun way  to get around – to be out in the fresh air, with the feint scent of the horses and hearing the musical clip-clopping of their shoes. I’m not really sure if I’ve ridden in one before or not. My mom told me in passing once, that my maternal great great grand-father composed a song about Kalesas before I was born (I never had a chance to meet him). So I’ve always had a soft spot for one because of that. Also I was born in the Year of the Horse 🙂

 

Behind Our Kalesa Driver

Behind Our Kalesa Driver

Clip-Clop Clip-Clop....

Clip-Clop Clip-Clop….

Happy horsies

Happy horsies

Sylvia La Torre, a famous Filipino singer, singing “Kalesa”

Underneath the Jose Rizal monument, the Philippine's national hero.

Underneath the Jose Rizal monument. Jose Rizal is the Philippine’s national hero.

 

Not much of a holiday yet, but very stimulating all the same.

Thank you Manila! x Vienna